Enfield Ignatians’ fight for London 2 North West survival was dealt a further blow on Saturday when they lost 32-18 to fifth-placed Hampstead.

Jake Bates notched the majority of the points for Ignatians, scoring two penalties in the first half, converting Wes Warren’s try and then going over for a try of his own.

Hampstead made good use of having the wind behind them in the first half, scoring 15 points in an opening period that they largely had the better of, scoring tries after a fumble in a dangerous area and Ignatians’ failure to deal with a long ball, but two penalties from Bates kept the home side just about in touch going into the break.

Ignatians cranked up the pressure following the interval and they were duly rewarded when Bates was involved in some excellent build-up play that laid the ball on for number eight Wes Warren to go over and put his side to within two points of the hosts.

However, Hampstead relieved the pressure with a length-of-the-field interception score and, having gained a massive amount of confidence from this, they added a further two tries to put some considerable distance between the two on the scoreboard.

The visitors continued to battle though, and, in the final minute, Bates had the last word when he went over for a consolation try to add some respectability to the final score.

After the match, Ignatians head coach Shane Manning said: “For me, we never seemed to be into the game. Our warm-up seemed a bit relaxed and lacked intensity.

“We had a few good patches but could not sustain anything and failed to win good balls from our lineout. Our Man of the Match was the returning Tom Huckle, who played really well.

“We must now regroup quickly as we face champions elect Belsize Park in our last home game, needing to get something our of the game as we stride to avoid relegation.”

The defeat pushed Ignatians down a place to 10th ahead of their Belsize Park away fixture on Saturday, April 6.